torsdag 30. april 2009

Achievements and how they made me care.

Sicne the introduction of the achievementsystem in WoW, I have been rampantly against it. I find no enjoyment in fulfilling random tasks to be awarded points, which in turn can only be used on vanity things such as titles or mounts.

Its just not my cup of tea.

If we have an instance on farm, I much rather just farm it quickly - so I can return to doing something else. Like making money, lvling alts or grooming my giraffe. Making encounters unnecessary difficult (by f.ex. not killing the adds) just dont sit right with me.

Now it turns out I kinda have to care.

When ranking guilds achievements are counted. Sites such as will rate guilds with more achievements higher then those without. Regardless of who first got the kill.

So, to achieve our goal of beeing a top guild on the server - we need to complete achievements.
Just like that - a ranking system that I do care about, forces me to care about achievements - a system I dont care about...

tirsdag 28. april 2009

And then you get the boot...

Continuing on the whole process of joining and leaving guilds, I wish to bring up a few examples of different ways I have seen people leave guilds I have been in. I think they exemplify how differently how people seem to think about what a guild is, what commitment is and what the community is expected to do. In many cases it reminds me of bad break-up scenes on TV.

"Nice fooling around, but I got other stuff going on"
This is the most drama free of all gquits. This is players who realize for some reason or another that they are going to quit the guild, and often quit the game as well. Chance of this happening is greatly increased when a new girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other is put into the equation.

"I think we should see other guilds"
A classic. Trialists who dont say anything during their trial period, weeks pass, shows up steadily to raids, never posts on the forum or say anything wrong. Everything seems fine until one day a brief post states that this is not the guild for him/her. Thanking for the time together, in a few lines he/she explains that we just didnt get along, and he/she will leave the guild to find his/her real soulmates.

"Cpt Emo"
This is a common one. Often comes from players who are not really that good at the game, and who dont have much experience with either the game or with online communities in general. After beeing told that they don't really belong here, and that perhaps they should find another guild (they dont meet the standards, dont raid enough, dont get the jokes or is simply too weird) they respond with what seems like grief. Often resulting in a forum post stating how they feel injustified, that this has been a huge personal hit and that they feel betrayed. "Why me?" is a likely response, not understanding that none of the readers will sympathise.

"Fuck you BITCH!"
This is a personal favourite. The people who just get really angry when you tell them that they will have to leave now, very often cause they are behaving inappropriate. Like a drunk guy shouting outside your window, he will blame you for beeing inside listening (thus making you a BITCH) rather then realizing that the drunken, shithead behaviour is the real problem at hand. Extensive use of caps, and will take any opportunity to slag you later on to anyone who is willing to listen.
In the desperate attempt to disprove the person removing him/her from the guild, he/she also fails to realize that any possible supporters he/she might have had is now gone. Noone wants a guildie who spams "FU I dotn neeD tis SHIT!!!U dont hav a LAIF"

"I am quitting now. Honest."
In most cases, they end up leaving eventually - but will then fall into one of the above categories when it actually happens. Before that it is simply several long emo posts saying how they dont enjoy the game anymore, and how they might not be around any longer. That they feel unappreciated and that things arent like they used to be. Keeps talking about how things were better in the old days, and dont get that the more they talk about it - the less people will care.

Application: Strongsquig [declined]

One central point of raidingguilds is the churn of members. Ofcourse there is a steady core that keeps on going, that keeps the guild together, does the work etc. But there is always some kind of flux when it comes to members.
I have always had a facination for this particular aspect of running a guild. Not cause what happens is unique, but because it is a microcosmos of people trying to make the best out of it.

Joining guilds
When I first joined my current guild, I simply chatted for a few minutes with the guildmaster. He didnt seem to think myself and my friends were absolute retards, so we got in no problem and only minutes later we were in on our first raid in Naxxramas. A few months later, the guild has grown steadily and we have weeded out members who are not up to the standard we want. Ulduar has gone well, and we seem to be a wellfunctioning raidingguild. Atleast for the moment.
Ofcourse this has massivly effected our recruitmentstrategies and policies. Where before we would take pretty much anyone who could spell their name almost right, and were not walking around naked and drooling (not in game atleast, we still suspect several current members to do that IRL) in on trial - we now only bring on board the ones we really like. Why? Because we have that luxury. Atleast 4-5 people apply to the guild on a weekly basis, and since we are not in dire need of any classes right now we can simply pick and choose from the ones we really like. Even as a casual guild we dont want to bring aboard more fail then we need to.

Its quite basic isnt it.
A guild does well, and everyone wants to join. You can choose the ones you want, and awesome breeds more awesome. A guild runs badly, and you will get crappy applicants you are forced to take to fill up raids.
Like anything else in this game: it works exponentially.

As most other raidingguilds we get people who want to join to write applications on our forums. And this is quite a study of human nature. Our appliation template is quite standard, its about a dusin questions asking about experience, raidingtimes, references, UI etc. The stuff you would ask anyone you would employ, any stranger that you were going to put some amount of trust in.

What people do with these few questions varies greatly. And even though a few get accepted, we declined even more.
So, here is a short list of things that is a good idea when applying to a raidingguild. Based on the last few weeks applications, some guidance is needed:

- Answer all the questions. If you dont know the answer to things like "What is your experience in game?" you should probably not apply in the first place.
- If your UI looks like shit, then we will assume you dont know the basics such as how to install addons. Basic UI with threatmeters slapped in the righthand corner wont impress anyone.
- If you used to be a member of the guild you are applying to, its probably a smart thing to mention. You are likely to still get declined, but its common curtesy.
- Answering requests in your application thread with snotty rembarks will not make you look any more charming.
- Give good reasons for why you left your previous guild. Things like "They sayded i didn raid enuf" wont convince us. Neither will "they were shit".

Good luck.

onsdag 1. april 2009

When Azeroth is too big.

People who have bothered themselves with trying to find out the actual size of Azeroth (the gameworld in WoW fyi), have concluded that is quite small. If you use people and buildings as the items setting the scale, each continent is about the size of Manhattans (Aarseth 2008).

Its tiny.

So why am I having such a hard time to get to terms with it?
Looking forward there seems just too many things I wish to bring forward to the academic limelight, too many people, practices and technologies I wish to discuss. On these small digital islands size does not seem to matter.

Perhaps its exactly because of the "small space" that they end up being so closely linked, so hard to untangle and separate.

It does sometime feel a bit crowded.

Aarseth, Espen (2008): World of Warcraft as Spatial Practice in Rettberg og Corneliussen (ed): "Digital Culture, Play and Identity. The World of Warcraft reader."